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[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.11.11 ~ 2016.11.13


"Doctor Strange" becomes the second-highest grossing foreign film of the year...

Marvel's latest blockbuster "Doctor Strange" retained pole position and claimed its third weekend at the top of Korea's box office. Director Scott Derrickson's cinematic wizardry (riding Marvel's marvellous momentum) added another 548,520 admissions (38.9%) to its Korean cause to become the tenth highest-grossing film of the year with 4.8 million admissions ($36.3 million).

Despite the epic flood superhero films that continue to emerge from America's massive dream machine, critics have been largely positive about Strange's cinematic appearance: "Doctor Strange manages to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe while also telling a satisfying story in its own isolated corner", wrote Ben Kendrick of Screen Rant, and cinephiles are so far largely in agreement. Worldwide, "Doctor Strange" has grossed over $492.6 million (the film was produced for an estimated $165 million). After dominating the Korean charts since late-October, "Doctor Strange"'s take in The Land of the Morning Calm was, for the first time, reduced to under 250,000 stubs.

Second place went to a new local entry in the form of Choi Gook-hee's first film, "Split". Choi's debate arrived the morning after the American election (November 9) and campaigned at 702 screens around the country; the film (starring Yoo Ji-tae, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee David, Jung Sung-hwa and Oh Chi-woon) attracted 336,805 admissions (21.7%) to dislodged Lee Gye-byeok's drama "Luck.Key" from second place.

"Luck.Key", an adaptation of a Japanese film, and has been flying high in the charts since mid-October. With the 245,331 admissions (15.8%) the film captured over the weekend, Lee's sophomore feature moved its total tally to 6.8 million ($47 million); it's the eighth highest-grossing film of year behind "The Wailing" (6.8), "Operation Chromite" (7), and "Tunnel" (7.1).

Director Mike Flanagan's "Ouija: Origin of Evil" (the prequel to the 2014 fear flick)-a film The New York Times called "deliciously creepy"-was the highest new foreign release with 162,146 admissions (10.6%), followed by Tomohiro Kawamura and Yoshihiro Komori's "GAMBA" (first of three Japanese films that made the weekend's top ten) in fifth with 3% of the sales (49,813 admissions). Akira Nagai's adaptation of Genki Kawamura's debut novel, "If Cats Disappeared From the World", also recently hit Korean screens and for its first weekend out settled in sixth 33,194 admissions (1.7%).

Jeon In-hwan's documentary about the late Roh Moo-hyun has been hovering around the middle of the chart since its release late October, and with the 27,757 admissions (1.7%) it claimed over the weekend, "Moo-hyun, the Story of Two Cities" now moves its total tally to 123,284 ($831,171). "Shuriken Sentai Ninninger vs. ToQger the Movie: Ninja in Wonderland" fell three places to eighth with 16,048 admissions (1%) and was stalked by "The Notebook" (a re-release of Nick Cassavetes's 2004 romantic drama) on 15,202 (1%).

Finally, the weekend's top ten was rounded out by the American neo-western heist flick "Hell of High Water" (starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine) by director David Mackenzie. The film premiered earlier this year under the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, but Korean audiences have been underwhelmed and it slipped six places from fourth to the fringe; it claimed 7,058 admissions (<1%).


Korean Box Office - Admissions for the Weekend 2016.11.11 - 2016.11.13 (

# Films Release date Week-end Total
1 "Doctor Strange"   548 520 4 825 583
2 "Split" (스플릿) 2016/11/09 336 805 439 428
3 "Luck.Key" (럭키) 2016/10/13 245 331 6 804 614
4 "Ouija: Origin of Evil"   162 146 210 984
5 "GAMBA" (GAMBA ガンバと仲間たち)   49 813 56 949
6 "If Cats Disappeared From the World" (世界から猫が消えたなら)   33 194 48 438
7 "Moo-hyun, the Story of Two Cities" (무현, 두 도시 이야기) 2016/10/26 27 757 123 284
8 "Shuriken Sentai Ninninger vs. ToQger the Movie: Ninjas in Wonderland" (手裏剣戦隊ニンニンジャーVSトッキュウジャー THE MOVIE 忍者・イン・ワンダーランド)   16 048 60 786
9 "The Notebook"   15 202 591 338
10 "Hell or High Water"   7 058 74 630
Korean movies only  
  "Yourself and Yours" (당신 자신과 당신의 것) 2016/11/10 5 749 8 443
  "Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned" (가려진 시간) 2016/11/16 4 707 17 935
  "Oh! My Papa" (오! 마이 파파) 2016/11/10 3 483 5 818
  "Spy Nation" (자백) 2016/10/13 2 590 126 553
  "Hide-and-Never Seek" (혼숨) 2016/10/26 2 543 286 147
  "My Annoying Brother" (형) 2016/11/30 2 479 2 805
  "The Follower, Ok Han-heum 2: Discipleship" (제자 옥한흠 2 - 제자도) 2016/11/10 2 287 2 891
  "See-Saw" (시소) 2016/11/10 895 3 653
  "Our Love Story" (연애담) 2016/11/17 440 1 262
  "For the End of Time" (시간의 종말) 2016/11/03 351 3 202

 - Chris Wheeler

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